Manila Bulletin

Budget passage seen in 45 days


The House of Representa­tives is eyeing the third reading passage of the proposed 2019 national budget in about 45 days even now that it is finally on the same page with the Department of Budget Management (DBM) on the matter.

The developmen­t shaped up as Majority Floor Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. told an impromptu press briefing Tuesday that Budget Secretary Ben Diokno had agreed to the House members' desire for a "hybrid" budgeting system.

"We have given each other the merits of our proposals and we agreed on it. Now, the so-called hybrid budget is a go," Andaya said.

"Budget hearings will continue today (Tuesday) and hopefully we will pass the budget by October 12," said the Camarines Sur represents­rive.

By hybrid, Andaya was referring to a combinatio­n of traditiona­l obligation­based system and the new cash-based system DBM had been pushing.

Some three weeks ago, the House Committee on Appropriat­ions suspended the per agency budget deliberati­ons as congressme­n unanimousl­y rejected the proposed cash-based P3.757-trillion budget for 2019.

For one thing, they found the 2019 budget which has a life span of just one year too restrictiv­e, especially for government scholarshi­p programs and major infrastruc­ture projects.

"Both sides explained the merits why we want the hybrid type of a budget and Secretary Diokno also gave the merits of a purely cash-basis budget, but in the end we agreed to help each other," Andaya said.

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